Cleaning the ears of a cockapoo, the cross between a poodle and a cocker spaniel, is similar to the process of grooming the ears of either of the parent breeds. Cockapoos often have the characteristic floppy ears found in the cocker spaniel breed, which makes them more susceptible to ear infections than other breeds. Because of this susceptibility it is important to keep the ears of a cockapoo clean and dry. Regular cleaning, done often and started early in the dog's life, will help the dog to quickly become comfortable with this grooming process.
Position the dog in a secure, quiet location where it can be gently held still during the cleaning process. If necessary, enlist an additional helper to calm the dog by providing treats and calming words during the cleaning process. Do not rush the process or show any disappointment in your progress.
Pull back the cockpoo's ears gently and examine the entire ear for debris, discharge or foreign bodies.
Wet the cotton or cotton ball with an ear cleaning solution made specifically for dogs. The cotton should be moist, but not dripping with solution. This is to prevent any fluids from flowing into the ear canal during the cleaning process.
Wipe the cotton on the ear canal area starting about 1/2-inch into the canal and working outward. Repeat this process until the cotton comes away clean. Do not use cotton swabs to clean the ears. If the ears have a foul odor, significant debris, excessive discharge or other unusual conditions consult a veterinarian for further evaluation.
Remove any residual moisture from the cleaned ear with a dry piece of cotton.
Cleaning of the outer surface and first 1/2-inch of the ear should be done weekly to prevent ear infections. Place cotton balls in the ear to prevent water from entering the ear canal during any at-home bathes. A cockapoo's ears should be kept as dry as possible to prevent the growth of bacteria or fungus.
Never use alcohol or alcohol-based products to clean a dog's ears. Use only solutions manufactured specifically to clean the ears of dogs. Do not pour or squirt water into a dog's ears as this could damage the ear drum or cause an ear infection. Cleaning at home should only be performed on the outer 1/2- inch of the ear canal or less. Deeper cleaning or removal of debris should only be done by a veterinarian or professional groomer.
If your cockapoo is getting chronic yeast infections in the ears, look at the food that you are feeding. Is there Brewer's Yeast in the food or in the treats that you are giving your dog? We have heard of some dogs that get yeast infections if they eat anything with yeast in it. Try taking extra yeast out of the diet for a few weeks to see if it helps.
Following these tips should keep your cockapoo's ears clean and free from costly infections. That will make you both happy in the long run!